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Air India Opens Booking for International Flights to US, Canada; Around 1,700 Tickets Booked

Air India on Friday said they have received more than 60 million hits on their website after opening the bookings for 75 international flight to Canada and the U.S. under the third phase of Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian citizens stuck abroad due to covid-19 lockdown.

Taking on to Twitter, Air India also said that around 1,700 tickets have already been booked since opening of bookings at 5 PM on June 5. Air India will operate 75 outbound passenger flights to select destinations in the US and Canada between June 9 and June 30 under the Vande Bharat Mission.

"Those who wish to travel to the United States and Canada and fulfill required entry conditions can book themselves on these outbound flights. Some foreign airlines have already carried out evacuation flights and are planning to operate more flights. These flights will also take foreign nationals," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.

He said the aforementioned 75 flights will go to destinations like New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto.

HS Puri, in one of his recent tweets, also mentioned that while international air carriers are charging upto Rs 3 Lakh for a single seat, Air India is charging one third the amount to the US.

Domestic passenger flights resumed in India from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India.

The central government, however, started the Vande Bharat Mission from May 7 to bring back the stranded Indians from abroad through special inbound flights.

It is for the first time that outbound flights have been included under the mission.

"Under MissionVandeBharat, AI will be operating 75 flights from India to select destinations in USA and Canada from 9th to 30th June 2020. Bookings on these flights, ex India only, will tentatively be open from 1700 Hrs on 5th June 2020 only through Air India website," the national carrier said on its website.

Air India and its subsidiary, Air India Express, operated 64 flights under phase one of the mission. They plan to operate around 300 flights in the ongoing phase two of the mission to evacuate a total of 70,000 Indians stranded globally.

With Inputs from PTI